80. What can we do to help a non-English speaker the most?

I strongly believe that what we MUST do is provide an instructional program which includes the following FOUR basic components to achieve the essential goals of:

GOALS –

  1. SUCCESSFUL ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, and
  2. MASTERY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

Instructional Components (Based on the State of California GENERAL PROGRAM DESIGN FOR LEP STUDENTS, ". . .a pictorial representation of how compliance items, LEP 2, 3, 4, and 5 fit together programmatically. Coordinated Compliance Review Manual, Page 5)

Component 1: (Compliance item LEP 2) "Each LEP student receives a program of instruction in English language development in order to develop proficiency in English as effectively and efficiently as possible."

English Language Development (ELD) is most often referred to as English-As-A-Second Language, or ESL. Because in California many non-English speaking students may speak 2, 3, or more languages by the time they enter California public schools, the term ESL does NOT apply, since English may be the third or fourth language the students may be learning. For example, many Armenian students may speak, read and write Armenian, Arabic, Turkish, and perhaps Russian. Similarly, many Russian students may already know how to speak, read and write Russian and several other languages spoken in other former Soviet Union states –today independent republics. Chinese students may speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and other languages from the many languages spoken in China. These students can read and write all of these languages since the writing system encompasses them all. Many Spanish-speaking students from Central America may also speak one or more Native American (Mayan) languages or dialects.

English Language Development or ELD, instead of ESL, also reflect the BASIC and FUNDAMENTAL fact that this instructional component is part of the CORE CURRICULUM for English Language Learners or ELL’s, the term used in California to refer to students who are in the process of learning English. As part of the CORE CURRICULUM, ELD classes must be fully coordinated and integrated with all other core academic curricular areas. Thus, in ELD classes, English Language Learners develop THE LANGUAGE OF THE CONTENT AREAS, the language they need every day to successfully and actively participate –listening with understanding and responding orally, besides understanding the reading selections and contributing to writing assignments—in all other academic classes. ELD teachers, thus, must fully collaborate and cooperate, and integrate their lessons, with academic content area teachers.

Component 2: (Compliance item LEP 3) "In order to provide equal opportunity for academic achievement and to prevent any substantive academic deficits, each LEP student, whose diagnosis makes academic instruction through the primary language necessary, receives such instruction."

A student who cannot understand, speak, read, or write English and who is sitting in a classroom in which English is the means of communication used by

  1. the teacher,
  2. the other students,
  3. the instructional materials, and
  4. everything else—

is NOT going to be provided an equal opportunity to learn.

This English Language Learner (ELL), however, cannot be left behind, without learning the content area concepts and key ideas, UNTIL s(he) masters enough English to understand the classroom interactions and participate fully in classroom activities. THUS, this student MUST be provided the means to learn THE CORE ACADEMIC CONTENT AREAS WHILE S (HE) IS MASTERING ENGLISH. And, to insure that this ELL does not develop any substantive academic deficits, academic instruction through the primary language may be needed.

Instruction through the primary language, as needed, is part of the CORE CURRICULUM for English Language Learners or ELL’s. As part of the CORE CURRICULUM, classes where the student receives instruction or instructional support through the primary language must be fully coordinated and integrated with all other core academic curricular areas. Thus, as indicated above, in ELD classes, English Language Learners develop THE LANGUAGE OF THE CONTENT AREAS, the language they need every day to successfully and actively participate –listening with understanding and responding orally, besides understanding the reading selections and contributing to writing assignments—in all other academic classes. In primary language classes, English Language Learners master the key concepts, key understandings, key ideas of the content areas. Primary language teachers and ELD teachers, thus, must fully collaborate and cooperate, and integrate their lessons, with academic content area teachers.

Component 3: (Compliance Item LEP 4) "In order to provide equal opportunity for academic achievement and to prevent any substantive academic deficits, each LEP student, whose diagnosis makes it necessary receives specially-designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE)"

Now that:

  1. the ELL fully understands the key concepts in the academic areas (through primary language instruction), and
  2. the ELL has mastered the English language to listen with understanding, actively respond and participate, read and write about the topic (through ELD instruction),
  3. the student is ready to actively and fully participate in core academic classes where the content area teacher will use specially-designed content area activities to maximize the ELL’s understanding, academic achievement and success in mastering the content areas through English.

Thus, as indicated above,

  1. in ELD classes, English Language Learners develop THE LANGUAGE OF THE CONTENT AREAS, the language they need every day to successfully and actively participate –listening with understanding and responding orally, besides understanding the reading selections and contributing to writing assignments—in all other academic classes.
  2. In primary language classes, English Language Learners master the key concepts, key understandings, key ideas of the content areas.
  3. In Specially-Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE), the ELL masters the key academic concepts through English, as the content area teacher uses techniques that emphasize active learning and active participation by ALL students in the class. In this class, the ELL’s learn together with English-ONLY students, and ALL students benefit from SDAIE instruction since, in mastering content area concepts and in mastering the language of the content areas, ALL students are LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT.

Primary language, ELD, and SDAIE teachers, thus, must fully collaborate and cooperate, and integrate their lessons.

Component 4: (Compliance item LEP 5) "Each LEP student receives, as part of the district’s program, instruction that reinforces a positive self-image and promotes cross cultural understanding."

ALL students in the school district, including the English Language Learners of ELL;s, must receive instruction that reinforces a positive self-image and promotes cross cultural understanding. In essence, ALL students in each public school district must be provided a program of instruction that allows ALL students to learn about and understand each other, and each of them to learn about and understand themselves. This program of instruction must be woven into all curricular areas, all extracurricular areas, and all school-based programs.

Research shows that a school program that fully incorporates these FOUR instructional components produces successful academic learning and mastery of the English language for ELL’s.

 


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.

 

For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:

CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK, Ph.D.

Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net